ARVADA, Colo. (KDVR) — A Colorado nonprofit called Big City Mountaineers is empowering city kids by taking them to an unfamiliar world, the outdoors.

Big City Mountaineers founder Jim Kern loved being in the outdoors and the idea of being there was, in his opinion, big medicine.

“It’s funny that you mention medicine. I don’t know if you know this, but in Canada, doctors can prescribe national park passes,” said David Taus, Big City Mountaineers executive director.

Taus loves the outdoors as well. It started with his first campout as a young boy.

“When I was about 8 or 9 years old, I went to a YMCA summer camp. For the first time in my life, I spent all day outside, slept in a cabin with kids from different communities than me. It was just a revelation,” Taus said.

And that is what Big City Mountaineers does for kids 8 to 18 years old, who have never ventured outdoors. Kids who never had the chance.

Kids chosen for the adventure are loaned all the gear they need. The boots, however, are theirs to keep.

The first time out, they go on a day hike; second time, an overnighter; and then a weeklong, fully immersive campout.

Rule number one?

“Anything that smells, such as deodorant, cologne, perfume, we say leave that at home because you really don’t need it. It attracts bears,” Taus said.

And one more thing they really do not need: “No one can bring their cell phones, and that is adults included,” Taus said.

The idea is to show kids another world — the natural world — and to discover there are other paths in life they can take. After all, they now have the boots.